Sikhote Alin Meteorite


Meteorite Event

February 12, 1947, 10:38 a.m. local time in the Sikhote-Alin Mountains, Maritime Province, Russia, about 270 miles northeast of Vladivostok. Latitude 46 degrees 9.6 minutes North, Longitude 134 degrees 39.2 minutes East.

Character of the Sikhote-Alin Meteorites

Specimens from this fall are of two types, those called "complete individuals" showing ablation and fusion crust. These specimens probably broke off of the main mass early in the descent, causing the surface to be vaporized and eroded by its trip through the atmosphere. These are characterized by regmaglypts (thumb prints) -- ablation cavities in the surface of the specimen.  Some of the small individuals have a smooth appearance and did not form regmaglypts from the atmospheric heating and ablation.

The second type of Sikhote-Alin specimen is the "fragments". These show the violent effects of being torn apart in the atmosphere or being blasted apart on impact with the ground. A metallurgist would say they were cold-worked. These are probably the fragments from the explosion 3.5 miles high. Many look like shrapnel from violent explosions. Some show shield shapes or orientation.  Striations may be seen on some flatter surfaces.

Structure of Sikhote-Alin Meteorite

Data from numerous investigations of the chemical composition of the nickel-iron, troilite, chromite, and schreibersite present in the Sikhote-Alin meteorite are presented. The greatest number of elements (about 50) are found in the nickel-iron (kamacite with traces of tenite and rabdite). The Ga, Ge, and Ni content of the Sikhote-Alin meteorite places it in the chemical group IIb.

-per the Smithsonian/NASA Astrophysics Data System

  • Structural Class: Coarsest Octahedrite (IIB) Widmanstatten bandwidth 9 ±5 mm

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